Thursday, September 20, 2012

Extended Summer

Garden Tea (Pinterest)

Outdoor Reception (Pinterest)

Above: Enjoying the scene outside the front door

This year's sheet tent (a day tent)

Home Made Bread: my hint: I mix the yeast granules in with
all the dry ingredients before adding warm liquids. (Check back for instructions.)

Some ingredients I use: real salt, light tasting olive oil, unbleached flour. It does not have to be bread flour, but unbleached is the tastiest, and it is usually a blend of wheat and barley, which gives the bread a pastry-like taste and texture.

I used coconut oil, instead of olive oil, in this bread. This brand comes from Costco and has a strong coconut flavor.

To make this bread, first pick a recipe. Sometimes there is one printed on the back of the bag of flour.
Next, with a slotted spoon, (a large spoon with holes in it) thoroughly mix the dry ingredients. I used:
5 cups unbleached flour
1 and a half tablespoons dry yeast
1 teaspoon real-salt

In another bowl, mix the oil and warm water. The water should be very warm. I used:
1 cup coconut oil
2 cups warm water
Allow the oil to dissolve in the water.

Mix two eggs with a small whisk and gradually blend them into the oil and water by pouring in a stream and mixing with the wire whisk at the same time. To the liquid ingredients, you may also add two tablespoons or one fourth cup of molasses, for a different flavor. Try also adding ground flax.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon or sturdy mixing spoon, until the dough sticks together in a ball that is a little greasy. It is okay to add more liquid if you find the mixture too dry, but generally, it does not mix in as well, once the dry and wet ingredients have already been mixed.

If the bread dough has too much liquid and seems "soup-y" you can add flour, a little at a time, mixing it in after each addition, until the dough is manageable enough to knead it with your hands.  It should not be sticky, but elastic.

The dough will look like this after being mixed. Knead it about 12 times before forming it into loaves. Kneading is a method of mixing that requires folding and pressing with the heels of your hands, over and over until the dough is well mixed. A well-kneaded loaf will not show streaks of oil like the one above.The ball will be smooth and not lumpy when it is sufficiently kneaded. The more it is kneaded the finer the grain of a slice of bread will be.

Divide the dough into three balls and form three loaves by stretching the dough and tucking it  under the loaf, in a shape, as you see, above.

Brush one beaten egg over the top of the loaves.

Bake at 350 degrees for half an hour to 45 minutes or until the loaves are golden brown on the crust, and then turn the oven off. If you like, you can leave some of the loaves in the oven to soak up the rest of the heat.  If you use the coconut oil, the bread crust will be like pastry and taste as good.

Instead of applying an egg wash, you could brush coconut oil on the top of the loaves before baking.

Be sure to try different bread recipes until you discover one that works well for you. Every climate and home atmosphere is different, and this will have an effect on the end results of the bread-making. My recipe works well for me, but it might not work well for you, so just keep trying.

A Recent Trip to the Coast

We have been enjoying company from Australia and are quite busy, hence my lack of posts lately. All is well here and the days are still sunny.


Anonymous said...

Your bread looks incredibly wonderful! Can you give us your recipe please?

Thor said...

Yes, I agree. A "how-to" on the bread would be most welcome. Thank you.

Lydia said...


Anonymous said...

Glad to hear all is going well in your neck of the woods. Will be praying things continue so.

Happy first day of Autumn!
Glad your company is enjoying our wonderful Autumn weather also.

Blessings, Mrs. J.

Julian said...

Beautiful! I love taking tea as well!

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say how much I loved your "Sheet Tent" again this year.
It looks like something out of the Arabian Nights stories. Delightful, beautiful and inviting.

Mrs. J.

Trish said...

Some lovely snippets of your Summer!
Have a happy and beautiful Autumn too, Lydia.

Anonymous said...

Glad I looked again ....this time found your sheet pretty and just makes me want to crawl into it! Beautiful.

Also good to see some of your bread ingredients....can't wait to see the recipe.

Anonymous said...

It looks like you are enjoying the end of summer! I've been missing the daily posts, glad you are back!

Judith said...

I hope to see your bread recipe in an upcoming post :-)

Anonymous said...


Thanks so much for your bread making lesson....I especially like your using coconut's so healthful for us! It's neat you can get three loaves out of your ingredients too....


Lydia said...

I have posted the bread directions. Remember it might not work for you. Just finding any bread recipe and substituting the natural ingredients, will make a tastier bread.

Lydia said...

I omitted the rising step: Let raise in bowl til double, then divide several ways and make loaves, and place in greased or oiled baking pan. Then let rise again, and then bake.